Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Well, I may have found Jazz's new home. I finally posted her for sale and had a huge response. The first person came out and looked at her yesterday and I'm going to do a few reference checks and a barn check, then that may be it.

Having her back is hard because she is SO MUCH FUN. I forget how amazing she is, she really is my second heart horse after Grady. Plus, this time around I'm actually selling her instead of just leasing her. Whenever I sent her off to her new year long home, the lessor was always surprised that I wasn't having a hard time giving her away - I was dry eyed and happy because she had a person to pay attention to her like I couldn't.

But, she was still mine. I called the shots - I could take her back at any time, I could ask them to feed her more or less, give or withhold permission for certain things, etc. And I knew I would always get her back at the end.

I'm just reluctant to sell her. I know that anyone she goes to will treasure her, but it just makes me nervous. She deserves the best care there is. I just hope that with my checking out the family that I can make sure that that's what she'll get.

I started tearing up a bit on the way home after they came to see her. It's hard when you've had a horse for 10 years and they've just become an integral part of your life. I'll still make sure that if she ever needs another home, that she'll come back to me. But she'll no longer be mine, she'll have a forever home somewhere else. She deserves a new little girl though, someone who can grow with her and learn with her like I did.

My girl ♥

In slightly less downer news, there's yet another contest! SheMovedtoTexas is doing a giveaway of a Horze leather halter. I've posted about this company before because they have some awesome stuff at great prices. Fingers crossed I win because Misty is in need of a leather halter!

And I saw this on Eventing Nation the other day and it made me laugh:

Quite accurate except for the dressage show one, I love dressage :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Favorite 5 Under $50

Lots of contests to enter! This is a post for a contest entry for Nicku at The Polka Dot Periodical and her success in reaching 150 followers, by posting about my favorite 5 horse products under $50.

Also, since I am nearing 100 followers (so close) I'm working on thinking up a good contest to do, so keep an eye out for when that happens.

Canter Mane & Tail Detangler

Cannot. Live. Without it. This is my favorite detangler ever. It's not greasy, it smells nice (like roses!), it works really well and it lasts for more than a few minutes. In fact, it will last a week.

Aeropostale Polo Shirts

Ok, this isn't strictly a horse product, BUT this is the polo shirt that I ride in. It's stretchy and fits well plus they come in amazing colors. It's long enough to tuck in, a problem I've run into before even with polo shirts marketed for equestrians. They're not a super technical fabric, but they're still light weight enough that I don't have a problem wearing them in the heat of the summer. The only downside is that they come in the smallest sizes ever... But if you fit into them, I would highly recommend getting one (of every color).
Regularly $24.50, but usually on sale. Currently $9.00

Keratex Hoof Hardener

This stuff has been great, especially for the horses that I transition to working barefoot or for when the weather is being uncooperative and we get a bit of foot soreness. It has worked so well, I've just been amazed. It's a pretty spendy concoction (heaven forbid you spill it!) but for how well it works, it's worth it.

SSG Original All Weather Gloves

These have been my go-to gloves for pretty much forever. I have a pair in white and a pair in black. They last a long time, can go through the washer, are comfy and not bulky. I've been meaning to make the step up to some nice leather gloves for schooling, but at this price, they're great for small shows and schooling. Plus, you can even find them in fun, bright colors.

SSG® Original All Weather Riding Gloves
Camelot Anti Slip Rubberized Web Reins

While Thinline take up the position of most favorite reins ever in my book, those are definitely not under $50 and the Camelot ones come in a close second. These were fantastic when I first started Jetta under saddle since she liked to root the reins out of my hand but with the rubber on these you have more grip. I don't like the pebbled rubber reins because I find they're too bulky, but these are thin. Also excellent because they have hand stops so it's quite easy to make sure your reins are even, especially if you give lessons you can tell the rider to shorten or lenthen by section. They lasted for three years before they started to fray on the edges but I continued to use them. I had them in black with the buckle ends and I really liked the heavy duty hardware. Well worth the money and the leather was actually quite nice quality too.


And lastly, I wanted to do a shoutout for Amy at Slow and Steady Smiler Wins the Race. She's also doing a contest, this time for reaching 100 followers. I've definitely enjoyed following her and Steady on their journey. I'm always amazed when I think back on how far they come and how Amy is able to balance both her own riding with her daughters' and with having a family. I love watching OTTB's in their next life chapter and Steady seems like an awesome horse. So go check them out and give her a follow!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Dressagin' It Up

It's been dressage rides the last couple of days. I've been riding Misty mostly western recently, besides the couple jumping schools thrown in, so I thought it would be good to go back to dressage for a little bit and work on contact and moving forward.

Dressage in western boots because I've "temporarily misplaced" my Dubarry's :(

She's been doing really good. She's still not a huge fan of contact, I'm kind of looking around for a softer bit, maybe a rubber snaffle or something with a thicker mouthpiece, but she's doing oodles better working on moving forward into contact. I've been asking her to really go for a big trot and canter, pushing her out of her more western-y but not quite movement and it feels awesome. She really, really wants to break into the canter when we're trotting, but after a few times of bringing her back down, she settles into a nice forward trot. Cantering... she gets grumpy when I ask for more forward. But we're working on it.

It's going to be back to western for her for the next few weeks. Cows on Wednesday then the 12th-14th we have possibly a Ranch Versatility show or two. 

Jazz is also getting the dressage treatment. She too has an amazing trot but her canter is just sort of "eh". Her canter's never been her best feature, we were always working for more "jump" and roundness and after not being asked for that in a year... well, she's trying. I just don't think she has the muscles for it at the moment, but it will come. Her trot though... I love it. We could probably almost go back out and start showing at First Level again.

Then today, I tried out ponying Misty for the first time. I figure that I have a horse to pony off of for once (I do not trust ponying off of Jetta quite yet...) but with Jazz it's no big deal. In fact, I can let go of the reins and steer with my legs while using both hands to hold onto Misty since I was in the dressage saddle, thus no saddle horn to dally onto. Misty was fine with it, but didn't want to trot. If we're going to go trail riding, I'm going to want to trot, so this was something she has to learn. I'd ask Jazz to trot and use both hands to hold onto the rope and drag Misty along. Once she started trotting = instant slack in the lead rope and she would trot along happily with Jazz and I. By the end of our session I barely had to use any pressure at all on the lead rope to get her to trot along. A double trail ride is definitely in our future :)

I promise that they were more enthused than they look in this picture

Then I finished it off by mounting Misty from Jazz's back and walking around on Misty and ponying Jazz. Jazz was not amused by this change of events, but plodded along willingly. Misty thought it was all fine and dandy - she got to lead! I just had to make sure, that way if something happens on the trail and I need to switch horses I know I won't have a problem!

Overall, a good day at the barn. Misty got her mane all braided up and Jazz got a nice bath. Both girls are looking good!

Pretty day today that felt like fall. I'm not ready for summer to be over!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Good to be Home

It's good to be home... I guess. Really, the only good thing about being home is getting to see my horses. Oh, and probably sleeping in my own bed. Otherwise, getting back to real life sucks.

I had a great time in SD. Almost makes me want to move to a beach town. Almost.

Cool display of horse shoes in Oldtown San Diego

Happy panda at the zoo

Potato chip rock - we stood on that little thin rock. One of the craziest hikes ever.
Sunset in La Jolla


While I really, really want to be riding Jetta right now, she's at least going to get the rest of this month off to finish healing. I think she'll be fine to go back to riding and we can start conditioning for our endurance ride. I am determined to check this goal off of my list! I went and visited her today and she looks really good. Fat and shiny for sure, I had to loosen the bellyband on her fly sheet! Her hematoma is almost completely gone (yes!) and her back legs are looking better, though still a little scabby.

I stuffed her with apples while I was home. I missed her!

In the meantime, I get to focus on Jazz and Misty. The plan for Jazz, as I said in my last post, is to find her a new home. Meanwhile, we're going to start rebuilding her muscles. She actually looks quite good when she's moving, but she's lost a lot of topline and butt muscles and gained some underneck muscles just from not having to work over her back. So that's the main focus. I'll probably use her to teach Misty to pony, go for some trail rides, let friends ride her, etc.

Getting our dressage on. Jazz says that she prefers western now.

Misty is going back to full, ADD style work. We're going to do some jumping, work some cows, fine tune our working ranch horse skills, and continue the dressage training.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Amazing Jasmine

I'm back! I had a great trip, though I definitely missed my ponies and one of the first things I did today was go visit Misty and Jazz. 

I mentioned a while ago that I got Jazz back. She was supposed to be leased to a lady for a whole year, but she ended up not being able to keep her for the full time and had to bring her back after nine months which was really sad because they got along perfectly.

The plan is to find Jazz a new home, hopefully permanently. I can't offer her the attention she needs. She could retire at my parent's place, but they are not horse people and after what happened with Grady, I'd really like her to have someone who is actually a horse person to look after her. With that said, she is definitely not ready to retire and while I was worried when she was coming home that maybe it would be time, after simply watching her run around the pasture her first day home, I knew she wasn't ready!

I hopped on her the next day and she was great. Definitely still in western pleasure pony mode, but she felt fantastic. No stiffness at all. This is a horse I rode almost every day for 7 years - english, western, trail, eventing, lessons, you name it, she did it! And I'm just amazed that she hasn't needed injections in all that time. This is what good breeding is all about!

After that one ride, she basically sat for 2 weeks. She did nothing but eat, which was good because she needed some weight unfortunately. Luckily for her, putting weight on is simply a matter of getting turned out on pasture = instant hay belly.

I came home for a weekend and as the sun was setting - my absolute FAVORITE time to ride - I decided to go for a spin on Jazz. Of course I hadn't brought any tack with me, so it was bareback and in a halter. Gosh this horse is amazing! I forgot what it was like to ride a trained horse that I could trust without a doubt.

This lead to me asking my mom in the morning if she'd take some pictures of Jazz and I. My greatest regret is not having pictures of Grady and I that showed what an amazing bond we had. While my bond with Jazz is not quite as strong, I still wanted to have something to show what an incredible horse she is, so we went to the neighbor's outdoor arena and had an impromptu photo shoot bareback and brideless. Gosh this horse is amazing.

Note: I hate not wearing a helmet and I honestly do 99.9% of the time because I know accidents do happen regardless of how good a rider you are and how perfect your horse is. And I also want to set a good example for those around me. With that said, I did choose not to ride with a helmet, simply for aesthetic reasons. These are going to be pictures I'm going to frame and while I think riding without a helmet just because it doesn't "look good" is silly, I'm going to be hypocritical. I still think it's a good idea to wear a helmet at all times. Honestly, it felt really weird and I didn't like not having my helmet on...

I love how they turned out. The lighting was perfect - the sun was coming up and the background sky was a stormy dark grey.

My favorite for sure

You can see her itchy spots where she's rubbed herself raw unfortunately. Which is why I decided to move her up to the barn near school so that she can heal and Jetta can just sit at home until she gets all healed.

I went out to see her yesterday after I got back from my trip and she was way, way better. Hardly any scabs left and the hair is already starting to grow back, whew. She is much happier up here! I lunged her a little bit then did some liberty work. Ahhhh, I love how good she is! She is such a pretty, smart and well behaved horse. Worth her weight in gold and I hope I can find someone who loves her as much as I do! I so wish I had the time and money for three horses because she is definitely one of those one in a million kind of horses.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Out of Office

Going to be gone in San Diego for the next week, starting today, so don't expect any posts! I was hoping to get one more post up before I left, but obviously it didn't happen. Oh well!

Just a teaser for what I *was* going to write about:

Photo shoot!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tough Trail Trial

Like I mentioned before, the trail course at JF's was tough. Which I knew it was going to be, her courses are always technical and Misty and I are not at that "technical" level quite yet. That said, I was pleased with how she did, though I had hoped we would do better. We got 34 out of 43 obstacles, meaning that we missed 9 which was kind of a bummer.

  1. First up - ride through the curtain. Check!
  2. Feed the sheep with some grain using a scoop out of a bucket - kind of scary but we did it. 
  3. Ride through the big huge ditch, step over the  poles and back up the steep hill - like a champ!
  4. Ride down the hill, around the scary fake deer - check!
  5. Walk through the raised poles without knocking off the top poles - piece of cake
  6. Walk over the bridge over the ditch - well, we got the front feet on, we ran out of time. If I had another minute I probably could have gotten her across it
  7. Walk through the deadfall - easy
  8. Ride down the log into the water - such a good girl
  9. Walk between a tree and a gross hanging goat skin - easy
  10. Ride up to a stump, dismount on stump and send horse in a circle around you, then remount - Misty wouldn't come close and I had to leap from the stump onto her, lol. 
  11. Pick up the scary plastic bag of cans and walk around the "wagon wheel" - almost didn't get to do it in time, but we got it barely
  12. Back through the zig zag logs - fail :( still can't get her to do this one
  13. Ride through the narrow squeeze logs - hard to do because Misty kept stepping out and then we had to start over, but we did it. 
  14. Ride through the double dip, back between a log and stump, then ride forward again - easy!
  15. Grab the singing rattle and walk the plastic streamers on the pulley forward and then backwards - like a champ
  16. Ride through the L ditch - done
  17. Ride up and down the log jumps - like a good pony
  18. Open the mailbox and open the singing card, name the tune - done!
  19. Open and relatch the rope gate - success!
  20. Shoot the BB gun and hit a tin plate hanging in the trees - Misty stood like a champ while I cocked and shot but I couldn't hit anything so we got an incomplete :(
  21. Ride over the fixed poles - easy
  22. Ride through the covered bridge and over the tarp covered mattress - this was one of the scariest obstacles! Misty used it like a trampoline. She set one foot on it and then backed off, then pounced with all four feet on it and then off. We still did it though!
  23. Drag a big scary pipe around a tree stump - Misty was fine, but half way through she decided it was too scary and stopped participating, lol. 
  24. Tractor tires, walk into the first one, do a 360, step to the next one and do a 360 in the other direction without stepping down - success! We were one of 3 people who were able to complete this one so I was thrilled!
  25. Back through the L ditch - surprisingly, we did it!
  26. Ride over the easy bridge - success
  27. Ride over the tall, narrow plank - fail. This was a really hard one and we couldn't do it :(
  28. Ride over the 3 raised logs - piece of cake
  29. Sidepass to the right over a log, back around a tree, then sidepass to the left over the log - well, we did it to the right and the back, but she refused to do it to the left. Well, at least we're making progress. 
  30. Back through the raised poles without knocking a top pole off - fail. I think only one or two people were able to do this one. 
  31. Ride up over the log through the water - like a boss!
  32. Dip a canteen in the water trough then hang it back up - done
  33. Open and close a gate - Misty is a gate champion!
  34. Walk over a white tarp with a sprinkler on it - we timed out, but eventually she did it. 
  35. Walk over the teeter-totter - amazingly, we did it!
  36. Put front feet in the tractor tire and do a forehand turn around it - amazingly, we did this one too!
  37. Pick up a stuffed cow, weave around the poles and set it back down - we timed out, I didn't realize I had to do all of the poles and just did 3, then had to go back and do the other ones but didn't have time
  38. Walk through the water - done
  39. Back up the hill between the railroad ties - success!
  40. Walk through the squeeze - done
  41. Ground tie and open the mailbox - well, she started eating, but at least she stayed in the box so we did it!
  42. The gross goat skin again, pull the pulley all the way to the top then lower it all the way to the ground then re-hook the rope to the tree
  43. I forget what the 43rd obstacle was, lol. 
And for once, someone offered to take pics of me riding! So I have pictures!! A ton of them, sorry for the dark ones, I haven't had time or energy to do any editing yet. 

Big ditch

Jumping up the log out of the water

Attempting to cross the scary ditch bridge


Carrying the plastic bag around the wagon wheel

through the double dip

Backing the pulley

Through the L ditch

Up the logs

Back down the logs

Shooting the BB gun

Over the poles

When the drag suddenly got scary

Backing really fast out of the L ditch past the finish flag!

Over the easy bridge

Sidepassing to the right

Through the water

Stepping carefully down the log into the water

The canteen

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bad Blogger

I feel like I've been such a bad blogger lately... So let's catch up on everything!

Everything has been happening at once this week, especially leading right up into my trip to San Diego for a week starting Tuesday! I'm excited to take a week off because it's been crazy!

Misty has been getting my full attention since Jetta's healing. I jumped her twice and it was a lot of fun!

She's still wary of the jumps, but if I put my leg on she'll go over it. I've been trotting/cantering her over little cavaletti's for our trail practice so I set the jumps at about 2'/2'3" (I couldn't find my tape measure). She was super good, though not too sure that this was a great career change.

I'm considering taking her to a jumping show at the end of the month and showing in the 2'/2'3" division. Poor horse probably has no idea what her real career is supposed to be...

Not convinced...

She gave me her lead changes about 80% of the time. She got strung out once and we couldn't get a change to save our lives but once I took her back to the trot and regrouped, we were able to get them again. Lead changes - what a novel idea! (I'm looking at you Jetta...).

The trail competition was over the weekend and I was the photographer for it. It was a TOUGH trail course and no one got through all of the obstacles (which is just how JF likes it!) The weather was cray-zee. It was supposed to thunder storm but I didn't believe the weatherman... then the dark clouds rolled in and the thunder started and it POURED. Everyone ran for cover to wait it out and we ended up making it our lunch break. Luckily it stopped and the sun came out so everyone could finish the course.

And lastly, I decided to swap out Jetta and Jazz. Since I haven't been doing anything with Jetta while she's healing and Jazz is suffering from really bad allergies, I thought it would be perfect for her to come up to the barn for a little while so I can ride her, she can heal and I can find a new lessor for her.

Lots and lots of pictures to come and complete write ups on all the events :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Plugging Along

The weekend has mostly been quiet. Jetta has been living the life and is just getting pampered. Her rope burns appear to be healing well on her hind legs but they've got some crusty scabs that are kind of ouchy so I've been slathering on ointment to try and keep them soft. Her hematoma doesn't seem to be getting any bigger, but neither does it appear to be getting smaller. Today she got a bath since I decided she was looking kind of icky. She had some dried sweat and some dead hair going on so I gave her a really good scrub and tested out some new shampoo. She was not pleased about the bath, though I'm convinced that it had to feel good with it being so hot out!

More recent photo from 2 days ago

I'm itching to ride her again! There's so much stuff I want to work with her on and do. We were finally at a really good place again. But if it decides not to heal, the couple shows we were planning this month will have to be scratched...

Misty is also doing well. We've just been playing around with western stuff and prepping for the trail competition this weekend. I put out 3 poles all bunched together to act as a log and got her to sidepass over them. It took a while, but we finally made it all the way over in both directions! Next step is to use the jump blocks as something slightly larger and then finally we'll use the barrels to sidepass over.

I've also been trying to organize stuff. I brought some tack home to clean and sell, as well as all of my more recently used bits to run through the dishwasher. I think I have a problem... Not pictured are 5 more bits. Does it not count as hoarding because I've decided to sell two of them?

Shiny shiny bitssss. I didn't even have to photoshop the sparkle on :)

Then I bought a little 4-drawer plastic dealie to put stuff in and wrangle all my wraps and random stuff that is floating around the tack room. Even though there's only one other boarder plus the trainer, I still feel bad occasionally for how much I dominate the space...

Other than that, nothing exciting has been happening! I'm hoping to go sorting again on Wednesday or Thursday. Maybe squeeze in a trail ride or jumping session or both with Misty. And Jetta will just continue to live the good life.

Oh! And before I forget, Hilary is running a contest on her blog for PonyTail Products shampoo. Details:

"PonyTail Products is sponsoring a fun giveaway for the opportunity to win a full size 24oz bottle of their Bubble & Bucks Shampoo and a full size 8oz bottle of their Show Pony Shine.

Details are as follows: All Entries Due by August 5th at Midnight

Winner must share a brief but honest review of the products if they have their own blog
    • Share details on the scent, effectiveness, quality, etc"
 I love fancy shampoo but never buy it so this would be a nice treat!

Friday, August 2, 2013

No Regrets

I had such a great ride on Misty today! The weather's been verrry unusually cool lately which means that I haven't been having to wake up early to avoid the heat. I got to the barn in the afternoon and first doctored Miss Jetta, then rode Misty.

I have to say that any misgivings I've had about buying a second horse are pretty much gone. Sure, it was a poor financial decision, but it's working for the most part and I hope I can maintain that. But, I don't regret it because I'm having so much fun with her!

I almost thought about entering the Ranch Versatility show this weekend because she's doing so well...

Such a good girl!
Anyways, I've been working on some western stuff. She still doesn't quite understand why I want her to jog, but she's getting moments where she'll jog along quietly on a loose rein. Her left lead canter (the easier direction for her) is much slower and smoother and "lope-y" than the right lead canter.

Aaaand, drumroll.... we have flying changes! Kind of sort of at least. I asked her for one and she gave it to me, albeit slightly more energetically than I would have liked and she was a stride late behind, but it was there! I asked for one in the opposite direction and got it too.

We worked on roll backs which are definitely going to need a lot of work. I made the mistake of swatting her with the end of my rein when she completely ignored my cue to move her shoulder over and got a panicked whirl around and for the next few minutes anytime my hand came into her field of vision she spooked. Oh, mare. She just needs a lot of slow work to make her relax I think, she tends to get a little wound up and nervous when I ask too much of her at once or if I give too strong a cue.

I'm trying to get her to stop nicely on just a cue with my seat and at home it's 99% there, but when we went to the cow sorting practice she didn't respond at all to my seat cues so that will take some more work.

I asked for another set of flying changes again and she gave them to me, albeit with a little crow hop in the middle. I'll take it though! Much better than Jetta who only changes when she feels like it and if you ask her too much she'll give a big buck and won't change, so I'll take exuberant but clean changes any day! Looking back, I think I just need to give a quieter request for the changes. I'm used to asking Jazz for her flying changes and I think that way of asking is just too abrupt for sensitive little Misty.

By the end we were able to do two full laps around the arena (one in each direction) at a nice little jog trot. Mostly because she was probably a little tired, but that jog is in there! I wish I had known about the one this weekend earlier, that way I could have been more prepared and possibly entered this one!

But, now we have plenty of time to prepare for two shows in September. There's a QH show in on the 14th that has a trail competition that I've done with Jazz a couple time (where 3 of our 5 buckles come from!) and they also have "beginner" classes where you don't have to have a registered QH to compete and you could win a belt buckle. They have a reining and a cow horse class that I'd like to enter. Then, on the 15th, there's a Ranch Versatility Competition. So excited!!

More good news is that I found a place to work with cows that's a lot closer than JF's. I'll probably still haul down to JF's every so often because I really love everyone that's there because I know almost all of them and JF is awesome, but I will save gas and $5 by going to the one near me. Plus they serve you food :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Discipline ADD

Gah, there's too many fun disciplines to do and not enough time!

I really would do it all, if I could do everything well and had enough time to fit it all in.

I took Misty to a sorting practice yesterday. Since she's supposedly a ranch horse, I decided that we needed to test this out!


My trainer JF (well ok, I call her my trainer but I haven't actually taken a lesson with her for almost three years, but she has been my main trainer and greatest support throughout high school) is the one that ran the practice. She's recently really gotten into doing the cow stuff and has a couple herds now. She stayed on the ground and instructed everyone. She told me that I needed to get rid of Misty's dressage saddle and make her my cow horse!

If you don't know what sorting is, it's where you basically have two round pens that are connected in the middle, kind of like a figure 8. You have a herd of cows numbered 0-9 with two unmarked cows (the "dirty" ones). You and a partner go in the pen and start out in the middle (the "hole"), all the cows are in one of the two pens. The judge will call out a number. You go get that cow while your partner keeps all the other cows out of the other pen. Once you get your cow into the other pen, your partner goes and gets the next cow. For instance if 4 was the number you were supposed to get first, then the next cow would be 5. You do this as fast as possible since you only have 60 seconds to get as many cows in the correct order as possible. The goal is to get all of them, but to keep the dirty cows out. If the dirty cows get through the middle, then you're done.

Bringing the cows up to the arena from the pasture.

Misty was awesome. She's definitely cowy. She listened well and got a little aggressive (in a good way). By the end, she definitely knew her job - cut out the cow I told her to, then run it back to the middle, stop and spin and defend the hole!

It's not the first time I've done it since I've done it with Jazz a couple times and I've ridden JF's husband's horse Calvin who by the way is SUPER fun. But it was awesome to have such a cowy horse that was mine and I can't wait to do it again. And I learned a few new things:

  • Don't stand right in the hole, come out further so you have more room to defend the hole
  • Stare at the cows you don't want when you're in the hole. If you look at the cow that's supposed to be coming through, chances are he'll turn back. Kind of the same idea that your horse will refuse a jump if you stare at it.
  • Keep your horse's hip straight. If they're not straight, cows know that you won't be able to move quickly enough to keep them out of the hole.
  • If you're going after a certain cow that is glued in the middle of a pack of three, don't wait for them to separate, charge in there and get it done!
 A bunch of them are doing a ranch versatility show this weekend and tried to get me to come with. While it would have been perfect since Jetta is temporarily out of commission (I was planning on going to a one day horse trial), I decided that we're just plain not ready. But, I plan on going to watch so I can figure out how it works and cheer on everyone I know!

There's 4 divisions: western pleasure, reining, trail and cows. Misty isn't really finished in ANY of those areas so I don't want to go and fail miserably. But that being said, a friend of mine is riding his mule through... While Bailiff is an AWESOME mule, he isn't exactly quick on his feet though he does try. So we certainly wouldn't be the worst there ;) Though I could take Jazz because she is finished in all of those areas... However, I would like to do a ranch versatility competition with Misty someday though, so here's what we need to work on for it.

  • Reining: 
    • Flying changes - I don't know if she does these because I've never asked, but I doubt it, so they need to be installed. 
    •  Stops - she needs to learn to tuck her butt and stop without flinging her head
    • Roll backs - non-existant
    • Spins - kind of sort of? She gets upset then gets discombobulated when I ask her to increase her speed
  • Western pleasure - this is a pattern class
    • Head set - low neck, but not quite as low as "real" western pleasure. More natural
    • Jog trot
    • Work on transitions between collected and extended gaits
    • Lope - non-existant
  •  Trail
    • Make it look "pretty", still rough around the edges at this point
    • Get it so we can do things on a loose rein
    • Sidepassing logs
  •  Cows
    • Basically everything. While I have a general idea of how to fence, box and circle a cow, I have absolutely zero practical experience. I'm sure we could get it done semi-well, but I'm sure there's a lot of little things I need to learn in order to do it correctly. 

So yeah, that's what you have to look forward to reading about! I think I'm going to go again next Wednesday to the sorting practice. Maybe we'll get a chance sometime to work cows outside the sorting pen and learn this whole fence-work-boxing-circling thing. And I'm planning on taking Misty cross country schooling sometime in the next week or so. Then next weekend is the second trail competition!